I wanted to continue the conversation from my Feb 4 Blog entry on game changers in the restaurant industry. As many of you know the Craft Beer industry has exploded as consumer tastes move from mass produced products to more specialized and unique products that fit their lifestyle and personality. Now small distilleries are making the same waves in the spirits market, hoping to shake up an industry long dominated by mass distillers. So are there lessons the restaurant industry can learn from these artisan and craft distillers and brewers? There certainly are many lessons we can learn! Consumers are searching out products that are not mass produced, products that are connected to their communities, products that have a story, products that have a purpose and mission and products that fit their lifestyle. Now many would argue that there are restaurants that fit these needs, such as farm-to-table restaurants. And I would certainly agree. However, there are two lessons we have missed - less is more and craft can be approachable. Less is more - menus have, yet again, become a laundry list of ingredients, packed with buzz words; and dishes are loaded with ingredients, so much so, the essence of the craft ingredients are getting lost. Craft can be approachable - it's ok to be passionate and knowledgable about the craft or artisan ingredients you use, but we need to be careful that this doesn't bleed into pretension. Consumers should have the option to have as little or as much information as possible, and by using these ingredients, restauranteurs should not use this as an opportunity to charge exhorborant prices. Being a game changer is about harnessing knowledge, passion and consumer needs, but being humble and down-to-earth in your approach.
For more about the changes in the Craft Sprits industry, check out this article.
Craft Spirits Come of Age
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